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The Best Mobile Card Machines for Small Businesses

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The Best Mobile Card Machines for Small Businesses

Those on the frontiers of small businesses know that while cash is king, card is swiftly rising to challenge for supremacy. An economy that used to rely on the tangible currency is quickly developing into a digital purchase process. And a lot of people seem to prefer it that way.

There are a variety of cheap card machines available in South Africa that can be used by businesses to accept payment from customers using debit or credit cards. These machines can be a cost-effective way for small businesses to process card payments without incurring high fees. Many of the card machines available in South Africa are portable, allowing businesses to accept card payments on the go. Some machines also have the added benefit of being able to accept mobile payments from smartphone apps such as Google Pay and Apple Pay. Find out why iKhokha is for you.

Our research into the South African small business market let us in on a few industry insights that we’ll touch on throughout. Firstly, buyers and sellers alike in South Africa have a good record of phone and debit card use. Almost everybody has a debit card. Even in low-income areas, salaries are paid via EFT or transferred into an official bank account. What we learnt here was that the pain point didn’t affect the customer as it did the business owner.

Why? Because despite high debit card penetration amongst customers, there was limited card acceptance amongst business owners. Whether it be expenses or documentation, some barriers get in the way of small or informal businesses getting card machines. And that stops them from taking their business to new heights.

iKhokha’s core purpose is to bring simple, accessible financial technology to small businesses, and mobile card payments are a massive part of how we accomplish that.

Card Machines for Small Businesses

In South Africa, portable card machines have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way for businesses to easily process debit and credit card payments. These portable devices allow merchants to accept card payments anywhere, whether it be at a traditional brick and mortar store or at a pop-up market or outdoor event.

Maybe you’re here because you’re looking to take your business into your own hands (and reduce hand-to-hand cash payments) by accepting debit and credit cards. Or perhaps you’ve been a business owner for years, but you are battling to see why you should be paying monthly rental fees and high transaction rates from your bank.

As an entrepreneur in today’s economy, you can’t afford not to have a card machine. Bearing in mind that being able to accept cards can increase your sales.

Regardless of if you sell fruit, teach Jiu-jitsu or are taking the world by storm with start-up number 3, you need to allow your clients access to card payments.

Card machines facilitate payments between the end users’ debit or credit card and your business bank account. Most card machines have a Tap & Go option that lets the customer pay without even entering their pin.

The driving factor behind paying via card machine is the safe, swift, and secure process for you and your customer. Check out our game changer mobile card machine for small businesses.

Taking Cash into Consideration

Owning a card machine means eliminating the risks that come along with carrying cash. Managing money electronically means avoiding the danger that comes with handling cash, banking cash and transporting cash.

Card machines also eliminate inconvenience to your customer. Asking a client to pay cash instead of paying with their card often leads to a lost sale. Sure, they may risk going to the ATM to draw cash or they may head to your competitor who offers electronic payment.

The Drawbacks of Traditional Card Machines for SMEs


SMEs are essential to a sustainable economy, but often take the brunt of difficult and expensive hurdles to keeping their business afloat. Card machines have become a thorn in the side of small businesses for a few reasons, the most relevant one being cost. High transaction fees, interest rates and rental fees make card machines an unappealing, although still essential, option for businesses that are just starting out and rely on every rand to grow their business.

Required Qualifications

The next hurdle is the qualifiers traditional financial service providers expect before they issue a card machine. They may ask you to quantify the volume of transactions you make every month. You may also need to provide evidence you are a registered business, which isn’t always a smooth sailing process. Plus, it doesn’t help that having a card machine is what’s going to make more money for your business.

Lack of Mobility

Portable card machines are becoming increasingly popular among small business owners and entrepreneurs as a way to accept card payments from customers. These devices allow merchants to accept payment by debit or credit card, even when they are not at their place of business.

Whilst there are plenty of options for mobile devices out there, many traditional service providers offer non-portable devices that stay stuck in one place. This may be suitable for some businesses: large scale retailers or stores. It isn’t optimal, however, for businesses that provide moving or on-location services. Whether you move from place to place to work or prefer to bring the pay point to customers instead of having them come to you, there are more relevant options out there for the modern-day retailer. Check out our portable card machines.

Lack of Mobile Integration

For most business owners, your cell phone is your portal into your business. Well, it can be if you have the right technology in place.

Traditional card machines make it difficult to integrate your retail or service data into one coherent source. Instead, most card machines remain unfashionably manual, wasting time that could be dedicated to other tasks.

What Are Mobile Card Machines?

A mobile card machine is a simple and effective concept that lets business manage their sales directly from their phone.

iKhokha card machines are designed to connect with your phone, turning your phone into a streamlined point of sale unit. The device is linked to your phone via Bluetooth and voila! You’re set up and ready to sell.

Physically connecting your card machine to your phone isn’t the only option. You can also connect wirelessly to your device and track transactions when and as they happen.

Looking for an iKhokha card machine? Shop our devices here.

Why Should Small Businesses Go Mobile?

Save Your Money

You work hard for your money – so why should you have to pay to make more of it?

iKhokha’s transaction rates are among the lowest in South Africa, giving you the peace of mind you need to get going with your business. You don’t need to flinch every time somebody whips out their credit card to pay, because we aren’t trying to take away from your sale.

Keep Agile

Mobile card machines can be used anytime and anywhere. Everybody has a different hustle and should be able to adapt their payments accordingly. You shouldn’t have to miss out on being paid after a service is complete because you didn’t bring your card machine along for the ride!

Even if you work in-store, being able to take your card machine to your customer’s table or let them pay for a purchase in the aisle is a great way to connect with your clients.

App-based Technology

For nearly everything you can think of, there’s an app that exists.

Financial technology is, for obvious reasons, no different. The iKhokha app is freely available to you once you have purchased your preferred iKhokha card machine.

Having the iKhokha App connected to all of your transactions means you can track your business in real-time. This is greatly beneficial when you are trying to make money in the fast-paced economic environment we are all competing in.

Our mobile payment solutions don’t only register your card transactions as a traditional card machine would do. With iKhokha, you can ring up and keep a detailed record of cash, card and digital transactions. And because your cell phone is connected to your machine, you don’t need to do any of the work.

Own It, Don’t Rent It

You have enough overheads to worry about – the payment portal between your customer and your bank account shouldn’t be one of them.

Traditional financial institutions may offer the option of renting a card machine for a monthly fee. This doesn’t sit too well with us, mostly because we believe a business that is yours should be accompanied by a card machine that is yours.

Mobile card machines from iKhokha cost significantly less than what you would pay other financial service providers, meaning that you can pay us once-off and just like that, you have your card machine. We do offer instalment packages if you would like to pay your card machine off over a few months, and this usually goes by quickly for our iK Tribe.

Take our Mover Pro as an example. For less than R500 you could own your card machine to use freely in your business with South Africa’s lowest transaction fees on your side.

READ THIS: Looking for a side hustle idea? Get started here.

Mobile Card Machines that Make You Money

We spoke earlier about mobile card machines saving you money, but we haven’t mentioned how they can make you money. At iKhokha, we are strong supporters of the side-hustle. That’s why we created iK Prepaid: the hassle-free way for you to start a business for under R500.

When you become an iKhokha mobile card machine owner, you are eligible to start selling prepaid services right from the palm of your hand. For each prepaid sale you make, you earn a commission that can be exchanged for real-life cash when and where you need it.

READ THIS: Find out what iK Prepaid can do for you and your business here.

Trade with Us and Get a Small Business Loan

Did you know that you can fund your business through iKhokha? It’s called iK Cash Advance and it’s an easy way to get your hands on quick cash to grow your business.

All you need is to trade with us consistently for 3 months to qualify!

READ THIS: Find out more about securing a quick loan for your small business with iK Cash Advance.

We Are Not a Bank, and Never Will Be

Our mission at iKhokha is to make entrepreneurship accessible to all through mobile innovation. That means we are driven towards developing mobile-friendly tools that are designed to benefit the growth of everyday businesses.

Because we aren’t a bank (and because we never will be) we can offer mobile payment options that elevate your business and payment processes.

Get in touch to get your brand-new card machine delivered straight to your door. Hey, we’re looking forward to getting you connected.

When choosing a mobile card machine, it's important to consider the fees, hardware options, and features that are offered, as well as the specific needs of your business and customers. With the right mobile card machine, you'll be able to accept card payments easily and efficiently, helping you grow your small business in South Africa.